CAFA Origin

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CAFA™ Origin

Late in 2011, Brittney Kelleher was working on Oceana magazine (in support of the Herbie Fund) with Jackie Gideon when the idea to create a national awards show for Canadian fashion came to them. A creative producer and makeup artist; Jackie had introduced Brittney, a capital markets professional and philanthropist, to the world of Canadian fashion. Jackie also introduced Brittney to communications and branding professional Susan Hart, who had volunteered as managing editor of the magazine.

Over the next few months, Jackie, Brittney and Susan worked together on preliminary ideas for the concept and design of an awards show and launched an early CAFA model to the industry on February 2nd 2012 at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. Shortly after this event, Jackie departed the team as Creative Director to focus on the growth of her successful Jackie Gideon Beauty brand and boutique and Brittney and Susan continued on as partners; working to refine and expand the CAFA concept and brand.

Early in 2013, entrepreneur and philanthropist Vicky Milner joined CAFA as senior partner and managing director. Vicky successfully engaged the industry, further streamlined the concept and pulled together an outstanding team of Ambassadors, committee members, designers and event producers to make CAFA a reality. Vicky, along with Brittney, Susan and the entire CAFA team proudly launched CAFA to the world at our inaugural event on February 1st 2014 at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto

Vicky Milner, President & Co-founding Director

Vicky Milner is a distinguished entrepreneur with extensive experience in an array of industries including fashion retail, music, entertainment, and nonprofit management. An avid philanthropist with over 10 years experience in the event business; Vicky has founded and executed many large-scale events for notable brands, including Universal Music Group and the Herbie Fund. Vicky’s strong business acumen, passionate outlook on the fashion industry, and belief in celebrating Canada and its amazing talent makes her an exceptional leader for CAFA.

Brittney Kelleher, Founding Director

Brittney Kelleher is a dedicated philanthropists, capital markets professional, and business of fashion enthusiast. She began her career in the investment business working at Summerhill Capital Management, a well-respected asset management firm specializing in global equities; and subsequently moved to the sell-side where she spent 3 years working in Institutional Equity Sales and Trading, covering all sectors of the Canadian equity markets. Currently, Brittney works at an Executive-level position at the Bank of New York Mellon in Corporate Trust. In 2009, Brittney published her first non-profit fashion and philanthropy magazine, which served as the Founding of The Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards. Currently, Brittney serves as the President and Publisher of Canadian Fabric, an annually-distributed fashion and cultural magazine, and has played leadership roles in some of Toronto’s premier events in support of The Herbie Fund, Oolagen Youth Mental Health, The Toronto Public Library Foundation; and currently leads Le Grand Bal in support of The Covenant House.

Susan Hart, Founding Director

Susan Hart is a brand strategist and communications professional with 20+ years experience in consumer and B2B brand and business development. A staunch advocate of Canadian culture, Susan’s admiration and respect for the Canadian fashion community began in earnest while volunteering as managing editor of a non-profit fashion magazine – and the industry continues to inspire her. Susan spent the early years of her career at a boutique branding and design agency before teaming up with a Canadian entrepreneur who was launching a prestige cosmetics line. As Managing Director of Cargo Cosmetics, Susan helped build a multimillion-dollar brand before departing the company to focus on consulting. Over the past decade, Susan has worked with numerous entrepreneurs and SMEs to help clarify, strengthen and promote their brands, and specializes in the creation and communication of branded service models and processes.